E+E Column: Update from an urban garden

Earlier this year, I decided that I wasn’t going to do any gardening this year due to Eli’s tendency to pull leaves off plants and where possible, uproot the whole thing. I thought rather than keep fighting a battle with a ridiculously cute and stubborn toddler, I’d just give ourselves a year off and save ourselves wasting time and resources only to see it all destroyed by whichever schema of child devlopment ‘tiny terror in the garden’ falls into.

However, it’s the middle of May and somehow I have several potato plants thriving, we’ve revived several strawberry plants from last year, saved some mint, sown several packets of wildflowers and the kids are currently nursing brussel sprout, poppy, sunflower and tomato seedlings which they planted a few weeks ago (after Dan, not in on my decision, let them choose a few packets each in B+Q). We’ve also been donated some chives, a squash plant and have been offered a pallet so I can finally realise my dream of a pallet herb garden!

And yes, Elijah has pulled all the blossom off the plum tree, uprooted the mint plants half a dozen times and dug over the wild flower bed several times. But do you know what? That’s ok! This year gardening has happened so organically (pun definitely intended) and with minimal effort on my part so I’m feeling ok about the whole thing. I’m especially excited by the loofah seeds donated by a kindly neighbour! I’ve adopted a more philosophical approach to things. We’ll do our best to keep plants alive, to water them and repot as necessary and we’ll try and redirect Elijah’s attempts at joining in to the flower beds that we don’t care so much about. And at the end of the season, we might have some vegetables to eat and some flowers to put on the table. If we do, that’s great! And if we don’t, we can chalk it up as experience gained and move on. I look forward to having a more in depth gardening experience again in years to come as time and space allows but for now, I’ll grab the bits and pieces that come our way and enjoy them. It’s still a great learning and recreational experience for both the kids and me and it gets us all outside every day for a little bit. So all in all, I’m very glad that we’re accidentally growing again this year!

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Taking a well earned break from gardening

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